HSBC scare tactics?

To me thats simply customer services issue and not some high end corporate attempt to dissuade customers from moving their money. I respect your experience, however I do this particular role today. ‘‘I thought I was paying my solicitor’’ is an everyday occurrence and a massive point of loss. These losses are for the customer to suffer and not the bank.

Simply, HSBC don’t know you or your experiences. The will review your transaction monitoring against known fraud. It would be stupid for them to have no discussion with you at all if something matches in that regard.

1 Like

Likewise, and I also do that role today, on the other side of the equation - I’m freelance these days and am currently working in the finance department of a law firm looking at, amongst other things, exactly this kind of thing.

I’d argue though that customer service is shaped by corporate culture, policies and procedures. That starts at the top and goes right down through the ranks. It might not be HSBC policy to try and dissuade people from Monzo or any other bank specifically, but there are acceptable ways of communicating a message, and there are unacceptable ways.

I’ve sat in call centres listening in to customer calls on many occasions; on the very few occasions I’ve heard something said which I considered unacceptable I’ve raised it with the phone associate directly after the call and reported it in the written feedback to the team manager for training. The kind of language and attitude that I’ve experienced (not just once, but repeatedly) and other people have reported on here from HSBC, seems to me to be more than isolated incidents. I may be wrong as it’s not a quantified survey, rather, anecdotal evidence.

I return to the fact that you can deliver, quite acceptably and politely, the message that the bank now accepts no liability, without using such confrontational or dismissive language as “you’re on your own now”.


I transferred £5000 from HSBC to Monzo and had the same call, was about 30 mins of direct questions…

1 Like

What a great thread. I’ve actually learnt something here. Great contributions all!

1 Like

I have to agree with you Chris. There is a lot of scope on how banks deal with social engineering and when speaking with a customer about concerns I can full appreciate the nastiness of some banking culture.

I don’t work for HSBC but the bank I do work for have an awful way of frustrating the customer experience when fraud checking payments. It’s horrible for the staff and customers alike.

I do find there is not an insignificant number of people who will speak to me and my colleagues as through we are subhuman and admittedly then I find it gets my back up.

I don’t bank with my employer due to the quality of these interactions which is what I think you are describing.


Yes, you’re correct, and my appeal for politeness and civility does (and I didn’t mention this) work both ways. People working on phones have a job to do, they’re usually trying to help/protect the customer, and ultimately they’re usually restricted (and in a regulated environment are restricted) to implementing the policies and processes of the business they represent.

I always try very hard, if I have a gripe, to say “I’m not having a go at you, my frustration is with what you’re being asked to do”. And where financial services are concerned, I do have a better idea than some of the reasons things are as they are.

But even if we on the other end of the phone can’t always see the point of what’s happening it’s important to remember that we’re speaking to a human being with feelings. Some of the abuse I’ve heard directed at contact centre associates has been appalling.

Corporate culture one one end of the phone and/or frustration and impatience on the other can occasionally inflame things, sadly.

I had a bit of a rant on chat at a Monzo problem the other week (turned out to be a glitch but affected something which had taken a long time to sort in the first place). Unfortunately I typed out an immediate, knee-jerk reaction into the online chat. But of course that’s then dealt with by a person, who gets the full blast of my frustration. When I got a reply from a Monzo customer service associate I made sure to apologise.

1 Like

I’ve read comments with interest, but I still disagree with the approach of the big banks to the fintechs. How can it be pro-competition for these banks to block payments due to a supposed higher fraud levels due to the customer onboarding that these companies perform. If the controls Monzo have in place for KYC are insufficient then regulators need to be involved, with banking licence removed. I do not believe the Monzo controls are insufficient, and hence why the big banks behaviour is anti-competitive.
I was explicitly asked by my solicitor if I had another account with a high street bank and if so Lloyds would have no problem with transferring my house sale proceeds to that account. When I refused, I was then told that I would need to take on the complete risk of any failure of the Monzo payment. It is this that I object to. Of course double-checking payments is sensible. But threatening me with fake warnings that the payment was ‘risky’ is not allowed. I’m an experienced financial services professional so knew what my regulator enforced protections were for the payment, so I knew I was not taking on any risk (other than Monzo itself collapsing), however almost any other person would have cracked and given in to the demands not to transfer the money to Monzo. Of course this is anti-competitive, wrapped up in the tag of ‘fraud prevention’. High-street banks offer broadly similar services, with high money transfer fees and tiny interest rates. Of course they want my money to stay within this cosy environment where the banks yield all the benefit from my cash. I work in this industry. I know the behaviour patterns. Of course the senior managers of the big banks are talking to each other and have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. I agree they are not currently threatened by Monzo but, like the supermarkets and the arrival of the German discounters, their future profit margins will be squeezed by the fintechs and so making fintechs life that bit more difficult is good short-term business.


You have insider knowledge on the reason this is happening more frequently with monzo? And that it’s not as they describe? If you do could you share your sources?

This topic was automatically closed 180 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.